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Approaching Release

Arcane Mapper is approaching release, currently scheduled on April 24. The product is being released under Early Access in order to make it available to the community sooner so your feedback can help make this a better and more useful tool. As a side effect, the tool will be limited in some ways on release. The tool will be useful for certain types of maps from day one and has many nice features for building atmospheric maps for your games quickly and easily. However there are types of maps and scenarios – such as exteriors or city maps – where this tool will be less useful. This post is meant to show you how I plan on addressing its limitations quickly.

You can build dungeon style maps with atmospheric lighting and shadowing with simple room drawing and editing controls, forced perspective 3D looking walls – which you can adjust and even reduce entirely to the wall tops, easy drag and drop object placement – with faster methods of placement available, pits and raised areas – with height fog available for the pits, image rendering for Virtual Tabletops, PDF and image export, Steam Workshop support with the ability to import and export packages, very simple methods of adding assets and of course much more.

I plan on making this tool much more useful for different types of maps and to remove the limitations the program currently has. To accomplish this I have already planned out the near term Early Access builds – these builds should come along pretty quickly. Longer term, once the editor is solid, I will move into the Digital/Virtual Tabletop features – not listed here.

These builds are not necessarily listed in order, mostly in the order listed in the internal project documentation. These builds also do not cover bugs you guys find or changing priorities based on community feedback. For example, Virtual Tabletop features may be prioritized before some of these builds depending on community feedback.

Better Fog

  • Fog for normal rooms (not just pits).
  • Fog lit and shadowed by light sources.
  • Fog properly affecting objects with a smooth falloff around them to simulate objects sticking out of the fog.
  • “Patchy” fog – allow the fog to be patchy and whispy with settings – to avoid the uniform look.
  • Blending between rooms – so a fogged room room can sit next to a clear room and still look plausible.

Basic Editing Improvements

  • Floor/wall UI improvements: Scale/Offset/Rotation.
  • The ability to quickly place many objects with random rotations and scales (within margins specified).
  • Curves for walls.
  • Natural walls – draw normal straight walls but be able to turn them into natural looking cave/rock walls of various roughness levels to easily create natural caves and similar environments.
  • Rough floors – give height to floors for visual purposes, such as simulating rough cave floors, gentle slopes or exterior terrain.

Procedural Enhancements

  • Procedural liquids – fill pits with water, lava, slime and other liquids. Control the look, add reflections, muck and other elements.
  • Procedural grime, dirt, moss and other elements – fill in the cracks with grime and dirt, have moss grow in corners, add spider webs in less used corners. You will be able to dictate where these details go and control them – but the system will generate the details.

Door System

  • Create doors that naturally connect to the walls, no matter the height.
  • Control the state of the doors, open them up to any point.
  • Different types of doors – single, double, jail cell bars, sci-fi.

Stair System

  • Create stairs with the tool that automatically work with the environment.
  • Choose different types – straight, curved, spiral, different step heights, etc.

Multi-level / Exterior Support

  • Layer maps together and make areas transparent to see into maps below.
  • Support exteriors, including lighting (sunlight, skylight), texturing and which level of each building is visible.
  • Seamless transition between exterior and interior. Make dungeons that are partially exteriors, build street and city scenes.

 


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